"To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), pp. 135-136. (h/t CS Lewis Institute)
A sharp eyed observer noticed the stunning absence of a "Requiescat in pace" for one late former Bishop of the Episcopal church while two others were offered that brief prayer on the home page of the Episcopal News Service on 11/12/2013 (Sorry, I don't know how to capture that except to take a picture with my cell phone):
No need to click on the image. This is how it was listed,
- RIP: New Hampshire Bishop Douglas Edwin Theuner
- RIP: Eastern Oregon Bishop William Spofford
- John-David Schofield, leader of San Joaquin departure, dead at 75
As my sharp eyed observer noted, "Jesus taught us to forgive and pray for our enemies."
To quote again from the CS Lewis Institute reflection,
In comparison to sins like adultery, murder, theft, etc., unforgiveness might seem relatively minor. But Christ does not see it that way. Of all the serious sins he could have possibly mentioned in the Lord ’s Prayer, Jesus focused only on forgiveness (Matthew 6:12, 14-15). He knew that offenses come to each of us regularly, and that we are prone to rationalize and justify our unforgiveness of the offender. He also knew that when we do so, we erect a barrier of sin between us and God which blocks our own forgiveness, as well as our prayers and fellowship with him, and leads to backsliding. Unforgiveness is a spiritual abscess that poisons the soul, the only remedy for which is forgiveness, no matter how difficult.The abscess has been identified. Now if only the patient will agree to have it drained...
One final thought on our patient,
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," The Mourning Bride Act III, Scene VIII.